Although ERP originated in the manufacturing industry, it headed off in new directions, and today, businesses across industries consider ERP as a critical tool to enhance their efficiency by integrating various aspects of their business. Apart from manufacturers, retail store owners, distributors, and services business owners who are looking to enhance their capabilities identify ERP as an essential investment to efficiently manage the business functions and streamline their operations to address the needs of their growing business and stay competitive.
But, for mid-market enterprises looking for an ideal enterprise solution, finding the right ERP that suits their business needs and budget is often a hard nut to crack. And with a saturated ERP software market with numerous vendors offering almost similar features and functionalities and pricing options, it becomes even tougher.
There are numerous mid-market ERP solutions catering to the enterprise needs of medium-sized businesses specifically. Massive ERP systems like SAP and Oracle, of the tier 1 segment, aren’t usually a good fit for mid-market organizations. These big guys are for larger enterprises and you may find yourself stuck with unnecessarily complex software for a huge price.
In this blog, we bring to you differences in overheads of two strong contenders in the Mid-market segment of ERPs, – Epicor and Oracle’s NetSuite.
Well, Epicor and NetSuite are great candidates in this segment. Both offer almost similar features and functionalities, making it difficult to decide which is best. Both are positioned as Visionaries in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud ERPs. But considering that, one of the main reasons for businesses implementing ERP systems is to reduce the operating and overhead costs by enabling process automation, we have taken a closer look at both the solutions to determine which serves the purpose and gives more bang for your bucks. For this, we have evaluated their features, and the recurring/additional costs for the solutions, to help you identify which is a better choice for your business needs.
Deployment Options – The first and foremost difference between the two solutions is that while Epicor offers flexible deployment options including cloud-based SaaS, hosted and on-premise, NetSuite offers only cloud-based SaaS options. So, if you are looking for any other deployment option other than the cloud, NetSuite is not for you. Even while Epicor takes a cloud-first approach, it gives you multiple deployment options to ensure each customer receives the ideal solution to optimize their business.
Functionalities – Coming to general functionalities, if you take a look at what each of the solutions offers it is more or less the same. However, for some features, one outperforms the other. Find below a comparison of how each of the features performs in the solutions.
With both solutions providing the same features, with only event management as an additional feature in Epicor, you should get deeper into the level of functionality offered to decide which might be more useful for your business. Epicor performs strongly in areas like supply chain management, inventory management, risk management, and financial management with excellent support for features like Advanced Planning System, accounts payable, etc. However, NetSuite slightly outperforms Epicor when it comes to generic capabilities like Marketing automation and Customer relationship management.
But, while NetSuite includes robust features that support general business needs, Epicor wins in having more industry or vertical-specific functionalities tailored to meet the specific processes of various industries in Manufacturing, Retail, or Distribution. For instance, Epicor offers a module with support for various ISO quality standards in its solution for Industrial Machinery manufacturers. Another example is, Epicor’s Retail Industry ERP solution for auto parts retailers and wholesalers includes an Electronic auto replacement parts catalog and related data information module.
Epicor is specialized in serving micro-verticals in manufacturing and distribution as well including industrial machinery, fabricated metals, automotive, etc. These industry-specific functionalities in Epicor make it easy for the system to align well with the nuances of your Industry and manage the processes much efficiently reducing operating and overhead costs better. Whereas, some of the out-of-the-box functionalities for NetSuite may not be deep enough to solve many of your industry-specific needs as they are broader solutions and lack specialization.
The industry-specific functionalities in Epicor eliminate or minimize the need for any customizations saving a lot of your money and time. The out of the box functionalities of NetSuite too may be customized to mimic the functionalities as in Epicor. But it may require intensive customization or use of add-on products via integrated partner applications, making it costly and often resulting in inflexible systems that barely get the job done. Epicor delivers complete end-to-end solutions with all in-built functionalities and doesn’t depend on third-party providers.
Cost – The subscription costs for cloud-based SaaS solutions from both vendors may look quite similar. However, NetSuite has a complex pricing structure and the final price is not upfront. Also, Epicor offers a concurrent user license model which allows you to share the license between people working in different time zones or shifts effectively and save significantly on license cost. On the other hand, NetSuite has a named user-based license model allowing only the named users to access the system.
Also, when calculating the cost of ERP vendors, you ought to look beyond this initial price tag and account for the additional overhead costs including the cost of add-ons, customer support, subscription renewals, maintenance or upgrades required after ERP implementation, etc. Many organizations tend to overlook these costs when purchasing an ERP system and end up having to spend huge amounts in the long run to keep the system functioning. In this context too, NetSuite becomes costlier compared to Epicor.
To get an end-to-end solution using NetSuite, you might have to purchase several add-ons adding up to the total cost.
Maintenance and Support is another area where NetSuite users would end up paying a hefty price as their in-house maintenance and support services are often expensive. They provide support based on the support package you select, categorized as Silver, Gold, and Platinum, priced based on your annual contract. The premium support services are very expensive and NetSuite customers often complain about ineffective support services from the vendor. On the other hand, Epicor allows you to get the most of your dollars with effective maintenance and support services through its comprehensive knowledge center, detailed documentation and training resources, and a 24/7 online customer support center.
Flexibility and Scalability – NetSuite’s cloud customization is limited when compared to Epicor’s hybrid-cloud customization capabilities. Both, NetSuite and Epicor are designed for companies of all sizes. But NetSuite is more appropriate for smaller companies with less complex processes. For larger companies, the vendor usually refers to Oracle Cloud which is a more advanced and costly product compared to NetSuite.
The choice of Epicor vs NetSuite for your business really depends on what you need out of your ERP and other factors like your organization size, budget, and other constraints. Thus, we suggest you take enough time in making the decision and comb through the vendor options available, their features, and cost to identify the best fit ERP for your business needs. The right choice can make a lot of difference in your ROI by optimizing business processes to achieve your business goals and helps you stay competitive. So make sure you are making the right choice.
Based on the points discussed here, Epicor proves to be a better choice for effectively reducing your overheads considerably owing to its deep industry-specific functionalities and lower ongoing additional costs. It gives you more value for your money allowing you to enjoy the perks and benefits of ERP implementation the most. To leverage the Epicor capabilities for your business and add greater agility and productivity to your business, Get in touch with us! We at RheinBrücke offer Epicor ERP implementation Services and help you leverage the most from your ERP investments.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog represents the opinion of the author. Though the information herein has been obtained from public sources believed to be reliable, RheinBrücke makes no representation as to its accuracy or completeness. Hyperlinks to third-party websites in this report are provided for reader convenience only. RheinBrücke neither endorses the content nor is responsible for the accuracy or security controls of these websites.